Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) this week called for a vote on House-passed currency bill H.R. 2378, the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, to be brought to the Senate floor. The American Soybean Association (ASA) is asking you to contact your Senators and urge them to vote NO on H.R. 2378, legislation that seeks to increase tariffs on imports from China.
H.R. 2378 could undermine our entire commercial relationship with China, the 3rd largest export market for U.S. goods valued at $69.7 billion, and the top customer for U.S. soybeans valued at $9.5 billion. H.R. 2378 is the wrong tool to incentivize China to move rapidly to modify its exchange policies. Rather, it would likely have the opposite effect
of inviting retaliation against U.S. exports into the Chinese market, currently the fastest-growing foreign market for U.S. soybeans. Passage of H.R. 2378 would be counterproductive and will not get us closer to the goal of achieving a market-driven exchange rate. This legislation would shift the focus away from the core issues of China’s currency and onto punitive and unilateral U.S. action against the Chinese.
Here are some key points to remember when talking to your Senators about H.R. 2378:
# In the 2009-10 marketing year, China purchased $9.5 billion in soybeans and soybean products, which represented over half of total soybean exports last year. Today, one of out of every four rows of soybeans grown in the U.S. is exported to China.
# China is one of the United States’ largest trading partners. In 2009, the Chinese purchased $69.7 billion of U.S. products, which support millions of jobs. The many successes we’ve had in the Chinese market will be wholly undermined by undertaking action against the Chinese.
# Legislation seeking to punish China is the wrong tool to incentivize China to modify its exchange policies. This approach will likely have the opposite effect of inviting retaliation against U.S. exports into the Chinese market, currently the fastest-growing foreign market for U.S. soybeans.
# ASA agrees with Congress and the Administration that China needs a market-determined exchange rate and that China should move rapidly towards this goal. In addition to continuing U.S. diplomatic efforts, ASA calls for strong, coordinated multilateral pressure to achieve progress on China’s currency and exchange rate policies.
ASA was part of a coalition letter sent to Senate leadership this week, encouraging a “no” vote on H.R. 2378, and is asking you to contact your Senators with the same message.
Find contact information for your Senators at: www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.
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